Revamping an outdated, impractical or uninspiring kitchen into a more stylish, functional cooking space is one of the most satisfying ways to transform your home. However, when it comes to selling a home, there are certain kitchen renovations that make real estate agents cringe. Whether you’re planning a kitchen reno or you’re looking to put your home on the market (or you just want to ensure you have a good relationship with your realtor), we’ve rounded up 15 common kitchen renovations that you may love – but that real estate agents hate.
When it comes to kitchen design, buyers – and, thus, real estate agents – gravitate towards more neutral colour and design schemes that offer up a clean slate.
Following the Fads
Home design trends exist for a reason – lots of people love how they look. However, if you’re renovating with an eye to sell in the near future, it’s best to steer clear of more extreme trends when it comes to materials in the kitchen. Kitchen renovations that focus on timeless updates are easier for agents to sell to potential buyers.
Personalized Paint Jobs
A fresh coat of paint is generally one of the best returns on investment in any room of your home and it can give your kitchen new life with a low cost and small amount of work. However, while choosing a bright, bold palette may please your design palate, it could turn off people at a showing.
There’s no denying that bold wallpaper makes a beautiful decor statement – but the ultra-personal, high-impact feel can be off-putting to potential buyers.
Customizing your kitchen with expensive, unusual built-in features you love – like a walled aquarium or wood-burning pizza oven – are wonderful while you live there, but they can be hard to explain to buyers that are wary to the cost and hassle to remove them once they move in.
While minimalist kitchen designs featuring no upper cabinets or open shelving offer a clean look, getting rid of too much cabinetry can leave potential buyers wondering where they’ll keep everything (the less-is-more approach isn’t for everyone).
Installing a unique ceiling panel or texture is the perfect way to personalize your kitchen with beautiful detail, but it’s also an easy way to chase away buyers that don’t share your overhead tastes.
While a head-to-toe revamp may look totally impressive and can indeed help sell a home, it can also be extremely expensive – and the cost of that renovation investment can inflate sellers’ expectations of their home’s value and selling price.
Too Much Tile
From the backsplash to the island to the floor, tile makes a stylish statement in the kitchen. What realtors sigh over, however, are too many or too bright tiles – vibrantly hued or patterned tiles may not suit the people your real estate agent is trying to sell to.
If you don’t have any experience, it’s likely not a good idea to try to gut your kitchen on your own – especially if you’re doing it to improve your home’s value. Amateur kitchen renovations tend to show (and the inevitable mistakes could end up costing you way more time, money and stress than hiring a pro). Hire a qualified designer or contractor for professional results that your real estate agent will be proud to show off.
Another reason to go with the pros if you’re new to renovations? You’ll avoid code-breaking, haphazard renos that could bring down the value of your home when you want to sell – especially when dealing with complex trades like electrical and plumbing.
Fashion Over Function
A kitchen can look gorgeous, but if it’s not functional, it’s going to be an issue for realtors and buyers. When deciding how to spend reno dollars for the purpose of selling, it’s important to prioritize properly. Investing in new quartz countertops – but neglecting faulty plumbing – may look great at first glance, but it isn’t going to win you points with buyers.
A dramatic, dark kitchen renovation isn’t the first choice of most real estate agents. Dark-hued or even all-black kitchens look sleek, but they aren’t for everyone.
Smart, state-of-the-art appliances may offer you a futuristic, chef-like experience, but their high cost is difficult for realtors to explain as a value to buyers.
Partially Finished Renos
There’s no shame in taking your time when it comes to kitchen renovations, but unfinished projects reflect poorly on your space when it’s time to sell, making for less-than-perfect listing photos and can leave buyers suspicious about the hold-up. Either wait to take on renos or be sure they’re fully complete and up to standard before your house goes on the market.